Despite major progress in the fashion industry in terms of body-inclusivity, Ashley Graham still believes there’s a long way to go before curvy customers feel included. In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, the 30-year-old model called out buyers for not selling clothes catering to curvier customers, despite big-name designers like Prabal Gurung, Christian Siriano, and Michael Kors offering sizes up to 20.
In the interview, Graham pointed out a disconnect between designers, buyers, and consumers. Although fashion designers are steadily catching on about the need for larger sizes, Graham believes that buyers and stores still don’t see the monetary value in offering bigger sizes.
“We’re lacking communication between designers, buyers and the actual customer,” Graham said. “Designers…go up to a size 20, but the buyers won’t buy it because they don’t think the customer will come into the store. That customer has been told for so long that that size doesn’t exist for her, so how does she know?”
Graham flagged that the average size for women in the United States is a 16, yet that standard isn’t translated to the fashion industry. Graham noted that curvy women, like anyone, are willing to spend money. Though, with the lack of curvy options, the model explained that that curvy customers are more likely to purchase shoes, beauty products, and handbags (relatively size-less items), rather than clothes.
“Women in the [curvy market] get left behind in the luxury world,” Graham said. “If you ask any big girl who wants to spend money, she’s going to say she spends on bags, shoes or beauty products because we’re never given the opportunity to buy clothes that are expensive—although we would do it.”
The girl has got a point. People want to look good, regardless of their size, and will pay money to do it, so why aren’t stores catching on? Good on Graham for speaking out.